SET IT AND FORGET IT
It’s a cold winter’s day, the fireplace is on and you are looking for some home comfort to feed your family or even something that will last for the next few days so you can continue to enjoy your time by the fire. I have the perfect food for this. It is called cocido which literally means “cooked” in Spanish.
It is a combination of Spanish flavours with Jewish and Arabic influences. Christians, Muslims and Jews lived harmoniously in Spain for many years and the result was an interesting mix of cultures in the areas of food, language, architecture, and the arts. Cocido is one of many examples. This particular recipe is a family recipe. There are other variations but this one is madrileño, from Madrid.
Because there are many ingredients that can’t be found in places except Spain, my family has adapted the traditional cocido. I have always eaten it like this so I am sharing a recipe that has been passed down in my family.
There are 3 parts to this meal:meat, vegetables, broth. The meat and vegetables are boiled in water for a long time. The ingredients are then removed, seasoned and served on a platter. The broth created from boiling is made into a soup of fideos, small noodles. What you end up with is a hearty, warm 3 course meal: cooked vegetables, savoury meats and finally, noodle soup. If you choose to skip the soup, the broth can be frozen for another time.
For the meat component, I use beef, fresh chorizo sausage and smoked meat (either a smoked turkey leg or ham hock depending on availability). I skipped the smoked meat this time because I didn’t have any but it adds great flavour.
If you are home, it can all be done on the stove in a large pot but thanks to modern day technology, a crockpot works just as well. Place the vegetables in the crockpot. Leave them whole as long as they fit. Add the meet on top. I like to add a few cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, and a bit of fresh thyme as well.
Cover with about 6 cups of water and cook on low for 8 hours. Once the dish is ready, I like to carefully remove the vegetables and the meat and place them on a large platter. The chickpeas are scooped out and served in a bowl.
If you are doing the soup, use a small sieve to clear the broth and then add the noodles to it. In the meantime, the cocido should be served with some coarse salt on the side and some espelette. Then there is a drizzle of olive oil added. This is a very healthy dish. The flavours are natural and it is meant to be served family stye.
It is a hearty, and a great comfort food dish for colder weather. Quite often I have some of the leek and potato leftover so I make a cream of leek soup for the following day.
200 g chorizo
1 lb chunk of beef
1 smoked ham hock or smoked turkey leg (optional-not included in nutrition count)
3 russet potatoes (peeled)
1 large leek (cut in 1/2)
1 turnip (peeled)
1 parsnip (peeled)
4 large carrots (peeled)
1 can of chick peas
6 C water
2-4 cloves garlic
On the side: coarse salt, espelette, olive oil
1. Add all the ingredients in a crockpot.
2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
3. Remove the vegetables and meat and place on a large platter.
4. Serve with coarse salt, espelette and a drizzle of olive oil.
Protein 39.27 g